SPYSHOTS: 2021 Volkswagen Mk8 Golf R at the 'Ring

The eighth-generation Golf R is one of three R models from Volkswagen spotted running tests at the Nurburgring Nordschleife this week, joining its high-performance stablemates the Tiguan R and the Arteon R at the fabled, 20.8 km-long German racetrack.

Seen here testing with just very sparing application of any disguise, the Mk8 Golf R is essentially undisguised, with ‘R’ design cues evident in areas such as its front bumper with large air intakes at each corner as well as in the middle. Side skirts are partially concealed with black tape on the car here, while the rear bumper is home to a diffuser bookended by the quad oval exhausts.

Rolling stock here appears to be the ‘Pretoria’ design wheels from the Mk7 facelift Golf R, rather clearly displaying the uprated brakes with blue calipers at both axles. The upcoming iteration of the Golf R has been tipped to boast an output of 333 PS, representing a gain of 33 PS over the Mk7.5 Golf R’s outputs following a retune for compliance with WLTP emissions standards in 2018.

Powertrain for the eighth-generation Golf R will be a development of the 2.0 litre turbocharged inline-four petrol, sending drive to all four wheels via a Haldex-based system and a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox; a manual is no longer expected to feature alongside, according to Autocar.

The Mk8 Golf had been planned for unveiling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed that was originally set for July, though the annual event has since been rescheduled for September. Given the Golf R’s performance billing, it remains to be seen if a top-end ‘Plus’ variant will materialise with around 400 PS, given that fellow German hot hatch the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S produces 416 PS, also from two litres and four cylinders.

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